Seasonal Reflection:  Ordinary Time, Summer 2018

Reflecting on Peace


The USCCB describes Ordinary Time as “a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply … until all things are finally caught up in Christ.”

Simultaneously, health experts tell us vacations are a time “to recharge and retool,” a time “for the body to replenish and repair itself,” a time “to stop and reflect,” “to form healthful new habits,” “to help get back in touch with some of the basic tenets of a life well lived” (https://livehealthyosu.com/2012/07/05/the-value-of-a-vacation/).

How appropriate that summer coincides with Ordinary Time! Although not everyone takes a summer vacation, it is a popular time for doing so. Consequently, one might combine Ordinary Time and vacation time to say that their synchronicity creates a time for growth and maturation of mind, body, and soul.

But what does that mean? For most reading this, it is highly unlikely that we are talking about (or want) physical growth; yet, we might be pleased to grow in physical strength and endurance. We might also be happy to grow in openness to new knowledge and ideas. Growing in faith and understanding and in compassion and mercy also sound very appealing.

And with growth, we hope comes maturation. In particular, we might mature into greater appreciation of the complexities of life and recognize the ramifications of actions that go deeper than surface appearances. We might exercise increased self-control and patience when challenges come our way. We might gain respect for diverse perspectives and seek out the wisdom of others. And we might feel more confident to share our own wisdom with those who are willing to receive it.

While this may sound like work, hard work, the fact is that much of this happens best when we let it happen without stress or strain, when we relax, let go, and let God. So, take that vacation. Ease off on the to-do list. Set aside the hectic schedule. Make room—and time—for the Spirit to nourish you so you’re ready for the extraordinary times that are sure to come.


 

Prayer for a Vacation

 

Loving creative Spirit, model and source of peace and restfulness, bless my vacation.
Do not let me waste this opportunity for relaxation.
Protect me against whatever would spoil it.
Free me from the preoccupations and pressures and anxieties that are connected to my daily work.
Heal in me whatever has been wounded or broken.
Revive whatever has been stifled or buried.
Renew my spirit.
Let this be a time for refreshment, a time of growing inner peace.
Increase my capacity for enjoyment and let me be truly re-created so I may in the future offer less resistance to your penetrating power.

Amen.

Source: “For a Vacation” by Jim Dinn in The Fire of Peace: A Prayer Book from Pax Christi USA

 



Suggested Actions

  • - Take a break, be it a vacation or a staycation; be it for a day, a weekend, or longer. Allow yourself a real Sabbath rest, whatever that means for you.

    - Re-connect with family or friends you miss and want to see or talk to.

    - Do something different from your usual routine, something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t made the time to make it happen.

    - Try to turn off the worries, the fears, and the pressures you put on yourself, at least for a little while.

    - Stay on top of things through PCMNY’s e-mail action alert network, website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and activities

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